Last Saturday, August 18, twelve students from Nolan Catholic High School taking a dual-credit United States history course under teacher David Mabry, M.A., came to the museum's library and archives for a behind-the-scenes tour. I learned that most of the students had never been introduced to a museum library, and I think most were surprised to learn about the treasures and learning opportunities here.
Some of the things we explored were:
- the difference between published and original (unpublished) documents
- how a book can serve as an information source and work of art at the same time (students took a close look at Alexander Wilson's rare book An American Ornithology, published in 1808, as an example)
- the different ways illustrations were printed in the nineteenth century
- the role auction catalogs play in tracking an artwork's ownership history
- what makes a book a photobook
- why an American art museum has an eighteenth-century French encyclopedia
Thanks to Jessica Gehrig for sharing the shot of me and the students, and thanks to all the students for being so interested and asking such great questions. I learned just as much as they did!
Samuel Duncan, Head of Library and Archives